Staring at the big Five-Oh
Iíll celebrate my 50th birthday in September. I suppose for some people thatís not necessarily a pleasant milestone, but Iím not fretting about it.
I donít feel (nearly) 50 most of the time, arthritis notwithstanding. I still listen to that infernal rock and roll music ó although these days they call it ďclassic rockĒ ó and Iím still a big kid at heart. I still like to laugh and joke and I almost always roll out of bed excited about the day ó or at least excited about the first cup of coffee.
I will confess that as the day approaches, I think a bit more about my mom. She died less than three works after her 50th birthday and left a hole in my heart that will never be filled. My thoughts about Mom and turning 50 arenít so much related to my own mortality as they are to the fact that life isnít fair and I realize that more and more. I think about how short her life truly was, and Iím determined to be thankful for every day.
My life hasnít always been easy. Whose is?
Iíve lost both my parents ó including my dad at the age of 64 after I made the excruciating decision to remove him from life support. Iíve lost an ex-wife who still meant a great deal to me. Iíve lost friends. Iíve lost jobs.
But Iíve also been blessed in a measure far beyond what I deserve. I have two sons who make me prouder than I can express in words, two beautiful grandsons whom I cherish and who constantly amaze me, and a daughter-in-law whom I consider more of a daughter. I have a job I love, surrounded by the best staff and co-workers I could ask for, in what has to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
I have friends who are more like family. I have a comfortable home, a decent car, food on the table and money (hey, $42 counts!) in the bank.
Iíll celebrate my birthday a little ahead of time, with a cruise to Cozumel in a couple of weeks, followed a couple of weeks later by a trip to St. Louis with my sonís family to watch my beloved Cubs beat up on the Cardinals (sorry, yíall). Iím sure to have a little fun on the actual day itself, as well, with my birthday falling on a Friday this year. Of course, it wonít be anything too crazy. Maybe Iíll see if I can get a senior discount at my favorite restaurant.